Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Devils 1, Rangers 0
By Katie Strang
What it means: In their first visit to Madison Square Garden this season, the streaking Devils edged the Rangers 1-0 for a season-high fifth straight win and second against their Atlantic Division rivals in one week. Goaltender Martin Brodeur made 30 saves to record his 1st shutout of the season, 117th of his career. The Devils were outshot 15-1 in a lopsided third period but held on to secure the win -- just barely. The Rangers appeared to score with 3.5 seconds left, but the goal was waived off as a result of Marian Gaborik's goaltender interference penalty.
Fight club: It didn’t take long for things to get nasty during Tuesday’s tilt between the Rangers and Devils. Eric Boulton and Brandon Prust fought two seconds after the opening faceoff. Cam Janssen and Mike Rupp followed suit, dropping their gloves at the same time. Rupp suffered a broken thumb in last Tuesday’s game after a slash from Boulton, who was subsequently fined $2,500.
Career year for Clarkson:David Clarkson continued to build on his career-high 2011-12 campaign with a power-play goal 8:14 into the first. Tallying his fifth goal in as many games, Clarkson gave the Devils a 1-0 lead with his 21st of the season. The gritty 27-year-old winger trails Devils’ leading goal-scorer Ilya Kovalchuk by only one goal.
Power-play woes: The Rangers flailing power-play continued to skid, failing to record a man-up goal in three attempts Tuesday. Entering tonight's game with a 27th ranked 13.3% success rate, the unit was denied for the fifth straight game. The Rangers have tallied only one power-play goal in the last 13 games. The Devils' superb penalty-killing unit denied the Rangers on a key power-play late in the third, holding New York without a shot on goal for the entire man-advantage.
Calling all centers: Top center Travis Zajac will visit his physician in Winnipeg Wednesday to evaluate his surgically-repaired Achilles, according to Devils GM Lou Lamoriello The 26-year-old has been limited to only eight games this season, but is not expected to undergo any additional procedures, Lamoriello said before the game. The Devils expect to have an update on Zajac's status Thursday.
Coach's decision: Rangers defenseman Steve Eminger has been medically cleared to play after missing almost two months with a separated right shoulder, but coach John Tortorella elected to keep Stu Bickel in the lineup instead. Bickel finished with two fights in the Rangers' 5-2 win over Philadelphia Sunday.
Up Next: Rangers vs. Lightning, Thursday at 7 p.m.
Devils vs. Blues, Thursday at 7 p.m.